By the time Cubs outfielder Brennen Davis actually saw a pitch from Arizona’s Joe Mantiply, the count was already at a ball and a strike.
Both the hitter and pitcher were penalized at the start of Davis’ at-bat to lead off the top of the third inning of Monday’s spring training game, the latest odd twist in baseball’s speed-up rules. After Mantiply entered the game as a reliever, he took too long to throw his warmup pitches; then Davis was too slow to get ready for the pitch.
Major League Baseball approved its first pitch clock this season, and every day is a new experience for the players as they try to get used to them this spring. On Saturday, Boston’s game against Atlanta ended on a walk-off automatic strike; on Sunday, Mets ace Max Scherzer struck out Washington’s Joey Meneses in just 27 seconds.